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It's time for a detox: here's how and why.

Creating the newspaper you are holding in your hands is often very stressful, but has its perks, very often in the shape of cupcakes and sweets sent to our offices by well-meaning PRs. The combination of long hours, stress and lots of cake makes our team prime candidates for a detox -- those week-long cut-back-on-everything sessions where you are supposed to lose weight, feel lighter and give your body a much-needed break from bad habits. For someone like me, who actually likes their bad habits, the prospect of having only juice to eat for five days is rather terrifying, but after watching senior reporter Kelly Crane do a successful at-home juice detox earlier this year, I decided to give it a try -- Dubai-style, with a home-delivery service. Yes, you really can get everything delivered in this city, including a few days' worth of freshly made juices that can give your body a new lease of life.

Detox Delight, a German company, landed in the UAE earlier this year, offering 5- and 12-day juice detoxes that are delivered to your home twice a week; there is an option to include a soup that is basically a warmer version of the juice. The juice is freshly made in Dubai, and my first box arrived as promised, at 7.30am on a Monday morning (the second batch came on Wednesday). In the ice-filled polystyrene cooler is a colourful assortment of bottles ranging from pale pink to bright orange to a healthy-looking green. Also in my box was a glass jar of soup, a pot of nut butter, a small cashew nut milk and a bag full of straws, menus and a guide to detoxing (which I had already been e-mailed). Everything feels fresh and high quality, and is beautifully presented, which is reassuring when you are handing over control of your digestive system for a week.

Detoxing can be for anyone who wants to kickstart weight loss or simply feel healthier, Detox Delight's Nicole Junghanel told me. "Detox stands for detoxification, or removal of toxic substances. It is seen as supporting the body's natural powers of purification -- with the right kind of diet, appropriate exercise and complementary treatments."

Those complementary treatments include daily body brushing, going to the spa, and colon hydrotherapy, which is exactly what you think it is, and no, I skipped that part of the detox. Detoxers are encouraged to take things easy -- do light yoga and pilates, visit the spa a lot and take rest -- and I wasn't going to argue with that. (I paired my detox with a special detox massage from SensAsia.) It's recommended you detox during "a quiet period in your business life"; during the week I chose, one staffer was on leave, another went on emergency leave and another fell ill; possibly the worst possible work week, but I never felt tired. I was in this for a few kilos' weight loss, and was ready to put up with feeling terrible -- I'd heard of headaches and mood swings being par for the course while your body flushes toxins from your tissues into the blood stream.

The reality was, I felt better than I ever really have -- full of energy and able to bound out of bed every morning, something that is usually a trial. I didn't lose the weight I had expected (I've heard people drop 5kgs in a week; I lost closer to 2.5kg) but I felt lighter, my stomach was flatter and I felt a lot less self-hating. In fact, I felt empowered as I passed on the cupcakes and even sat down to dinner with others while I sipped my juice, my own stubborn willpower egging me on.

"A treatment of pure juice is one of the best experiences you can have," says Junghanel. "By not taking in any solid food, which normally uses 60-70 per cent of our body's energy, our digestive system and metabolism have a significant amount of less strain put on them. This enhances greatly the purification process and gives you an energy boost and a healthy slim, less bloated feeling."

It doesn't come cheap though. The five-day delivery option in Dubai costs a whopping Dh2,650 (you can collect it yourself for Dh200 less). Consider that if you bought the vegetables yourself it would cost around Dh400 for two; a juicer comes in around Dh900.

"Our pricing is on par with international prices," says Junghanel. "One has to consider the fact that the juices are delivered to your door and special care is taken into the research of the juice recipes, in addition to the preparation and presentation of the juices. We are on call at any given time to offer advice on nutrition or any health concerns the individual may have. You don't just get the juice delivered in a bottle; you get an information pack e-mailed to you prior to the detox to assist you in the preparation leading up to it. We also add certain EoACAysuper food' ingredients to some of the juices, which are very pricey to buy in the market."

Using juice cafes in malls isn't the same as they mainly use fruit; Detox Delight includes lots of vegetables, meaning less sugar, she adds, and creates balanced daily juice menus. "Each juice on any given day never has the same ingredient so to do this at home can actually become quite expensive with a lot of food wastage. And everyone knows how painful it is to clean a juicer. Detoxing is also about not stressing, so to do this at home requires a lot of added stress, time and effort. To this end, it is not only about the detox effect, you are actually saving time and indirectly money too."

The juices, for the most part, were very good -- there was only one green bottle containing a brocolli-pineapple combo that I struggled with -- and I truly never felt hungry. Everything has a kick -- a little chilli in the morning grapefruit, ginger in the beetroot, or a smooth carrot and orange. The soups I would eat outside detox, especially the lovely fennel -- they are purees rather than broths, so quite filling, and the cinnamon-nutmeg cashew milk should be sold in the supermarket -- it's delicious. As someone who writes about food for a living (read my blog UAEats, at gulfnews.com/uaeats) this surprised me, but there were days when I couldn't finish all five juices. Detoxing during a work week, when I didn't have time to dream about what was being served at Shake Shack, probably helped a lot.

Would I do it again? I'd love to -- in fact, I miss the juice. Everything was so easy -- no washing up or food shopping, and taking a week off from dining out and all my unhealthy habits and paying attention to getting sleep, exercise and caring for my skin was very positive. But the price is, for me at least, prohibitive. "In today's busy lifestyles, from all the environmental pollutants, from the unhealthy food and preservatives we consume on almost a daily basis, I guess there is always a need to detoxify your body. Usually we recommend doing a detox every 4-6 months," says Junghanel, who adds that you can then do a one-day detox every couple of weeks. "That way your body is constantly switching to the detox mode and your body stays healthy."

How to detox:

Check with your doctor if you have any health concerns.

Drink lots and lots of water every day -- I was permanently thirsty.

Take care of yourself -- get rest, treat yourself to a spa treatment, and take lots of warm baths with detoxing salts.

Use the time to detox your life too, since you can't really party -- I spent an evening reorganising my closet and giving clothes to charity.

Detox Delight juice packages start from Dh2,650 (delivery in Dubai, Dh2,850 in other Emirates). Call 055-8835072 or 055-5568318.

Nicole, Detox Delight

What is a detox? Why should a person do a detox?

Detox means inner purification. It is the key to well-being,beauty and good health. An imbalanced diet and eating at irregular intervals, consuming too much sugar, coffee, alcohol and nicotine as well as not getting enough exercise are detrimental to our appearance and well-being. Also traces of environmental toxins and contaminants, absorbed unnoticed through our food, water, air, clothing, household cleaning products and cosmetics, put a strain on our metabolism as the undesirable substances deposit themselves in our cells and joints. Even though our bodies are naturally equipped with the liver, kidneys, intestine and lymph system to combat these toxins, if they are put under too much strain, our bodies can no longer cope with its purification itself.

Detox stands for detoxification, or removal of toxic substances. It is seen as supporting the body's natural powers of purification -- with the right kind of diet, appropriate exercise and complementary treatments.

How do you know when it's time for a detox and how often should it be done?

In today's busy lifestyles, from all the environmental pollutants, from the unhealthy food and preservatives we consume on almost a daily basis, I guess there is always a need to detoxify your body. How often you should do a treatment depends on your body but usually we recommend doing a detox every 4-6 months. If you detox the first time we recommend doing a 5-day treatment and than 1 detox day every week or 2. That way your body is constantly switching to the detox mode and your body stays healthy.

What can a person expect from a detox? Is it just about weight loss or are there other benefits?

Detox Delight is not only healthy, it is also delicious: Developed from accredited nutritionists and raw food gourmet chefs, all meals and juices are produced from fresh ingredients every day and gently prepared using only the most exquisite ingredients.Thereby, they maintain their valuable organic nutrients and living enzymes which activate the body's metabolism and support the bowel and liver functions.

Benefits

- Body purification

- boost your immune system

- Skin rejuvenation

- Healthy nourishment

- Energy boost

And weight loss is a positive side effect of a detox treatment although we cannot confirm or promise the weight loss will happen. Each person's body type is unique and different and some people may take longer than others.

What are the side effects, if any?

During the detoxification process toxins are released from your bodytissue into the bloodstream and generate the typical detox symptoms. Depending on your constitution and eating habits, these symptoms can appear with different strength and characteristics. But don't worry, they are a good indication that the detoxification is working and they are not expected to last for long.

Possible side effects can be: bloating, bad breath, fatigue, headaches, mood swings, and skin irritation.In the detox world we call this the "Healing Crisis" where you may feel worse before feeling better.

Who should NOT do a detox?

Our products are suitable for detox beginners as well as those with plenty of detox and nutritional experience. Our programmes are easy to follow and are a simple and convenient way of doing something good for your body. Also if your daily routine doesn't allow for time-consuming shopping for the right ingredients and the demanding preparation fresh each day. We do everything for you: From the creation of the right menu, to the selection and purchase of the ingredients to the preparation of the menu itself. We deliver fresh every day, ready to be consumed and at the address of your choice. You can integrate your new nutrition into your daily routine easily.

You offer 5- and 12-day detoxes. What's the difference?

We recommend doing at least 5 days to get rid of all the toxins in your body. But for some people 5 days are just not enough and their body needs more time until the detoxification process kicks in and they need to detox longer to get a perfect result. We also have clients who like to detox longer than 5 days. The longest period we recommend doing a detox is 21 days.

What about including the soup, does this make a difference?

The result is the same with Juice Delight and Juice & Soup Delight. Juice & Soup Delight is the liquid detox plan for all those who like to have hearty warm food from time to time. Juice & Soup Delight is made up of 4 x 500 ml Detox juices rich in enzymes and vitamins, to be drunk throughout the day, plus a delicious soup which only requires to be heated briefly and which can be consumed midday or in the evening. Each day we will surprise you with a new and different sumptuous soup, eg exotic aromatic Green Detox vegetable soup, hot spicy beetroot-pear-dream or Ayurvedic tomato and egg-plant (aubergine) soup...

(We think: warm food warms the soul E[macron]AuAe)

The detox delight is priced Dh2,650 for five days delivery in Dubai. How do you justify this price? Will I have the same detox effect if I buy juices from a juice cafEa or do it myself?

Our pricing is on par with international prices. One has to consider the fact that the juices are delivered to your door and special care is taken into the research of the juice recipes, in addition to the preparation and presentation of the juices. We are on call at any given time to offer advise on nutrition or any health concerns the individual may have. You don't just get the juice delivered in a bottle; you get an information pack e-mailed to you prior to the detox to assist you in the preparation leading up to it. We also add certain "super food" ingredients to some of the juices, which are very pricey to buy in the market. Juice cafEas in Dubai are very limited with ingredients and many of them are predominantly fruit based whereas we add a lot of vegetables so less sugar content. Each juice on any given day never has the same ingredient so to do this at home can actually become quite expensive with a lot of food wastage. And everyone knows how painful it is to clean a juicer! Detoxing is also about not stressing, so to do this at home requires a lot of added stress, time and effort. To this end, it is not only about the detox effect, you are actually saving time and indirectly money too.

Does everyone lose weight on a detox? There are reports that you can put back the weight lost, and more, after a detox. What is your response to this?

Most people lose weight or rather they become lighter and less bloated. The initial 2 to 3 days weight loss on the scale is mainly due to water loss so the longer you detox the more effective it is. The mistake that many people make is that they go back to their old ways after the detox so naturally you will gain weight plus more. The whole point of a detox is not only to cleanse the body of toxins but it is also to kick-start your body and mind into a healthier lifestyle. The trick is not to look at the scale because this can be very deceiving. Measure your waistline and see how your clothes fit. Many people go back to the gym after a detox and the increase in muscle mass from working out can make the scale look like you've gained weight when you have only toned your muscles. So stay off that scale! If there is no weight loss at all then they may be an underlying issue that has not been addressed and a trip to a specialist doctor may be advised. It could be hormonal imbalance; it could be a sluggish digestive system, lack of enzymes, etc. Having colon hydrotherapy sessions during a detox does speed up and assist the process.

Detoxing appears to be intended to give your digestion a break. Why is this necessary?

A treatment of pure juice is one of the best experiences you can have. This is due to the fact that by not taking in any solid food, which normally uses 60-70 per cent of our body's energy, our digestive system and metabolism have a significant amount of less strain put on them. This enhances greatly the purification process and gives you an energy boost and a healthy slim, less bloated feeling.

While on the detox, I felt very thirsty a lot of the time. Is this normal? I drank a lot of water -- is there any danger for my kidneys?

In this case the body is purging itself of toxins and the toxins need to be purged from the blood. This is the job of the kidneys yes, but the kidneys can only effectively do this when they are well hydrated with water. So the feeling of being thirstier during a detox is completely normal and it's the body's message that it needs more water to assist in the process. If however, you feel sharp pains in the kidney area of the back then it may be advisable to stop the detox. Again, colon hydrotherapy and reflexology sessions during a detox can help.

I expected to go to the bathroom a lot but in fact barely had any bowel movements, is this normal (I am very regular generally).

Yes because there is no solid food and less bulk fibre travelling through the digestive system. Hence the reason we advise colon hydrotherapy sessions to assist in this area or enemas at home.

What is contained in the juices? How do you decide on the combination of fruits and vegetables in each juice, and how is the daily menu decided?

Our carefully balanced Juice Delight products are created daily using top-quality fruit and vegetables prepared in special juicers in a way which protects the nutrients. They are rich in vitamins, valuable minerals and secondary plant substances and highly effective super foods such as spirulina, fresh wheat or barley grass, herbs and aloe vera. Simple but delicious, refreshing and yet surprisingly filling.

In contrast to some commercially available products, our juices are not pasteurised, in order to maintain their optimum content of high-quality nutrients. They should therefore be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within a few days.

Some days, I couldn't finish all the juice that was given to me - I just wasn't that hungry (I was pleasantly surprised). Is there a problem if I can't drink them all?

No not at all. And this is a clear message that we don't actually need to eat such large meals during the day. Smaller portions at more regular intervals is the way to go E[macron]AuAe

You also offer one-day sessions. What is the purpose of this and how often do you recommend people take a "detox day"?

If you never detoxed before we recommend doing a 5 day treatment to get rid of all the toxins and to totally clean your body. To keep the detoxification process going after that you can continue with 1 detox day per week or every two weeks.

Or if you just feel like you need a healthy day in between a detox day is the perfect solution.

Please let me know if there are any other comments you would like to make about the detox delight.

Most people think that we are buying the juices from Germany and just sell them here, which is incorrect because every single juice is freshly juiced by the both of us on a daily basis E[macron]AuAe

Our carefully balanced Juice Delight products are created daily using top-quality fruit and vegetables prepared in special juicers in a way which protects the nutrients. They are rich in vitamins, valuable minerals and secondary plant substances and highly effective super foods such as spirulina, fresh wheat or barley grass, herbs and aloe vera. Simple but delicious, refreshing and yet surprisingly filling. In contrast to some commercially available products, our juices are not pasteurised in order to maintain their optimum content of high-quality nutrients.

We are known as being the best Detox company in Germany and France E[macron]AuAe and hopefully also in the Middle East.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Nov 9, 2012
Words:3400
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